Disqualified Driver FAQs

Disqualified driving cases and the motoring laws that govern them can be confusing & complex. Below are commonly asked questions answered by an experienced motoring law solicitor.

Q: I've just received a letter saying I have been convicted and disqualified from driving by a Court in my absence. I didn't know about the case. What can I do?

A: This is an emergency. It happens all too often and can be a real shock. The letter may come from the Court or DVLA. To get back on the road you will need to act fast and we can help.

If you were convicted or banned in absence, the Court must set aside the conviction if you didn’t know about the case until after conviction.

You will need to make a Statutory Declaration to this effect. This must be served on the Court within 21 days of finding out. If later, there must be an explanation for the delay.
We can prepare and serve the Statutory Declaration on your behalf, without you having to attend Court. Once the ban has been set aside, we will ensure that the Court notifies the DVLA. This is almost always considerably quicker and more convenient than waiting for a Court listing and will get you back on the road sooner, usually within days.

Although you can if you wish attend any Magistrates’ Court to make the declaration free of charge, you will usually need to contact the Court and be given a date. In practice, this can be very difficult and time-consuming for an unrepresented person to arrange.

Unfortunately, it is often very difficult for people who are unrepresented to even get through to the Court office and Court staff don’t always have the time to help.
If you are a New Driver, you may receive a letter from the DVLA saying that your licence has been revoked. If this is because of penalty points imposed in your absence, the Statutory Declaration procedure as above will also apply.

If you have been convicted in absence and need to make a Statutory Declaration, you should contact us immediately as time will be running against you.
You may find it helpful to email to us any letter you have received from the Court, DVLA or Fines Enforcement Centre.

Q: If I am disqualified in the UK, can I still drive abroad?

A: If you are disqualified by a court in the UK then you are also banned in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and the Isle of Man. This is called ‘mutual recognition of disqualification’. Disqualified drivers in these countries are also banned in Britain.

You won’t necessarily be banned in other countries, unless their domestic legislation recognises foreign disqualifications. However, if banned in Great Britain you will no longer have a British driving licence, and most foreign countries will not let you drive without a licence.

If in doubt, you would need legal advice in the country concerned.

Q: I have been disqualified from driving in Ireland. Will the disqualification apply in the UK?

A: Yes. If you are disqualified by a court in Ireland, then you are also banned in the UK. This is called ‘mutual recognition of disqualification’. The same applies if you are banned in the Isle of Man.

Q: I have been banned from driving. Can I get my licence back early?

A: This depends on the following circumstances:

  • If you were banned for 2 years or less, you cannot apply at all. Your only option would be to appeal IF you were in time and had grounds.
  • If you were disqualified for less than 4 years, you can apply after 2 years.
  • If disqualified for between 4 and 10 years, you can apply when half the period has expired.
  • If disqualified for 10 years or more, or for life, you can apply after 5 years.
  • In deciding whether to remove a drink driving ban, the court has to take into account your character, conduct since conviction and any other circumstances.

Is your licence or livelihood at risk? – Our solicitors can help. Call 0808 231 7107